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Palos Hills volleyball coach credited with saving student who collapsed after game

"I just replay it in my head consistently," Jordan Sintich said. "I'm very thankful that what I was able to do worked, because not many situations like that end on a positive note."

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Miles Sanchez, a 15-year-old freshman at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Palos Hills, has played volleyball nearly all his life.

Sanchez also has an underlying heart condition called Brugada Syndrome, which can cause life-threatening irregular heart rhythms, or arrhythmia. He had a pacemaker and AED internally placed when he was 9.

"I'm used to being very athletic and running around a lot, doing a lot of sports," he said.

But on Tuesday night it took a turn.

"I remember feeling dizzy," Sanchez said. "I took a knee."

He went into cardiac arrest after running drills following a volleyball game.

"I got a call from Palos Hills Police," said Sanchez's mom, Tatum Sanchez. "It quickly turned into concern and fear when I heard the word collapse."

His parents rushed to meet him at the hospital, where they learned it was his coach, Jordan Sintich, who shocked his heart back into rhythm.

"One of the boys actually ran to get the AED," Sintich said. "When he wasn’t responding, I initially was very shocked, but then went into fight or flight mode and initiated everything I've learned."

Sintich learned CPR and gained certification during water safety instructor training and lifeguarding. She kept up with her certifications through in-service days at Reavis High School in Burbank and continued when she moved to teach at Stagg.

"[It was] obviously very emotional. I just replay it in my head consistently," she said. "I'm very thankful that what I was able to do worked, because not many situations like that end on a positive note."

Sanchez is now home recovering from surgery where doctors fixed the wires in his pacemaker and internal AED.

His family thanks the coaches for saving his life that night.

"We will always be grateful to his coaches," his dad Mario Sanchez said. "We’re grateful that our son is sitting here in our house with us because it could've been a lot different."

They said the cardiology report showed his heart remained irregular until it was shocked with an AED by Sintich.

Now, the family hopes their story can prompt schools to require heart testing for students and encourage others to learn CPR and AED aid.

"We are looking into a program that has that in place for schools nearby," Tatum Sanchez said.

"We are fortunate that we are familiar with our son's condition, but there could be children out there that don’t know they have an underlying condition," said Mario Sanchez.

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